The town of Rupnagar is of considerable antiquity. The town is said to have been founded by a Raja called Rokeshar who ruled in the 11th century and named Rupnagar after his son Rup Sen . The recent excavations carried out at Rupnagar have proved that this town was the seat of well developed Indus Valley Civilization .
In proto – Historic Punjab perhaps Rupnagar is the only known excavation site which can claim the status of a small town or city . The founds in recent excavations consists of earthen bares, statues, coins, etc. That proves that the city dates back to Harrappa – Mohanjodharo civilization which crossed Satluj river. Many of them settled at this place. In the excavations many things founded belongs to Chandra Gupta, Kushan, Hoon and Mughal period. One of rare finds is a seal of Marble on which there are three letters engraved in Sindhi script. One of the finds is the statue of a woman dressing her hair. All these proves that even the people living in this town 4000 years, hence were fully civilized and well cultured.
Many historians are of the view that when the first man descended from the mountains in the North to plains, he settled down at Ropar. A Mount is still preserved by the Archeology Department at Ropar.
S. Hari Singh Rais of Sialba conquered Ropar in 1763 A.D. and established his state . His son Charat Singh made Ropar capital of the state .
After the fall of Sirhind in 1763, Rupnagar came under the sikhs Chief Hari Singh. The most famous ruler of Ropar state was Raja Bhup Singh , who fought in the anglo-sikhs war of 1945. on the side of Maharaja Dalip Singh, the minor successor of Maharaja Ranjit Singh , against the British. Consequently, after the victory of the British, Ropar state of Raja Bhup Singh was confiscated.
The history of Ropar district is in fact the war of Guru Gobind Singh Ji against Mughal tyranny, exploiters and social evils. It is here in this district at Sarsa Nangal that the great Guru parted with the family and proceeded to Chamkaur Sahib where two elder Sahibzadas laid down their lives fighting for truth and Guru Sahib left for Machhiwara on a constant struggle.
The other important historical place in this District is Kiratpur Sahib situated on the banks of the river Satluj. This town was established by 6th Guru Shri Guru Har Gobind Singh Ji after buying Land from Raja Tara Chand of Kehloor through Baba Gurditta Ji. It is said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji made a professy regarding the establishment of this place. It is here at this place that Guru Nanak Dev Ji met saint Buddan Shah in a Jungle. It is here in Sheeshmahal that Guru Hargobind Sahib stayed from Sammat 1691 till the end came. Shri Guru Har Rai Ji and Shri Guru Harikrishan Ji were also born at this place and they were blessed with Guru Gaddi at this place. It is here at Gurdwara Patalpuri Sahib that Sikhs from all over the world immerse the ashes after death. Even the Babhuti of Shri Hari Krishan Ji was brought form Delhi and established at this place. About a half-mile away from Kiratpur Sahib the Takia of Saint Buddan Shah is situated.
Anandpur Sahib, a historical town in this district was founded by 9th Guru of Sikhs Shri Guru Teg Bahadar Ji after buying Land in Village Makowal in 1723 A.D. It is at this place that the great 9th Guru performed perance to commemorate the gurudwara Bhaura Sahib built at Anandpur Sahib . It is also here at Anandpur Sahib that Kashmiri Pandits approached 9th Guru to save them from Mughal Tyranny. Acceding their request on the motivation of Guru Gobind Singh Ji , Shri Guru Teg Bahadar Ji left for Delhi to make Supreme Sacrifice. At Anandpur Sahib the great 10th Guru of Sikhs Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji spent his early age . It is here that the great Guru mastered the use of arms in Kila Anandgarh Sahib.
Further it was at Anandpur Sahib in Rupnagar District that Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji created Khalsa in 1699 on Baisakhi Day and brought about a cultural revolution. It was the most important landmark in the history of sikhs. The Khalsa created by Guru Gobind Singh Ji later on acquired the sovereign power of Punjab under Maharaja Ranjit Singh . The creation of Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib is the most important event not only in history of Rupnagar district, but also in the history of the sikhs and Punjab. Gurudwara Keshgarh Sahib at Anandpur Sahib still commemorates the memory of the historical event as Guru created Khalsa at this place.
Another most important landmark historic event had been added to the history of the district, when in April 1999, 300th Birth of Khalsa was celebrated at Anandpur Sahib. Besides lacs of people from all walks of life from all over of the world, heads, important religious, social, political and administrative personalities participated in the Tercentenary functions and paid obesance at Gurudwara Takhat Shri Keshgarh Sahib. Historic City of Anandpur Sahib has been developed as tourist center. Khalsa heritage Memorial complex is being constructed.